Dordt College Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Kendra

Thinking about the year to come can be extremely nerve wracking with all the choices you need to make. My advice to you is don't stress too much. Take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you won't have any more decisions to make. If there are many different colleges that you are considering, I would say to make sure and visit them. Staying at the college gives you a better feeling for what it is truly like, and you can see if you like the area as well. If you are worried about the cost, think of it this way, college is an investment. It may be a lot to pay up front, but in the end, it will help you get a better job and make more in the long run.

Rachel

If I could go back in time and give myself advice, I would tell myself to make wise and responsible decisions. The choices we make can affect every part of our life in a possitve or negative way. In order to truly get the most out of college, the right choices dealing with academics, physical wellbeing, and social life must be made. Too much money and time could be wasted if a student doesn't put forth all their effort in order to succeed and become educated on their future career. Taking care of their physical bodies is crucial in order to avoid sicknesses during college, limiting them from learning or socializing. Developing good eating and exercise habits will continue in life after college, leading to a happier, healthier life. The final advice I would give is to chose friends wisely. Don't pick one friend and expect that person to be the one you will develop a lifetime of memories with. People change, which causes rejection and pain that can lead to a feeling of loneliness. Branch out, meet new people, and don't be discouraged if friendships don't turn out exactly the way you thought.

Dwight

Make sure that you look at every opprotunity and take your time making your decision. There is no rush to make a decision

Victoria

On my road to completing college I have experiencd ups and downs, but these events have strengthened me in ways that I could have never imagined. The sense of accomplishment that comes when grades are posted, is unparaleled! Since I was a young girl I have lacked self confidence, but each class that I complete, I receive the confidence that I need to continue in college. I believe in myself more than ever! I'm no longer the stupid girl with two kids, I am a woman on my way to a becoming a successful graduate. College has helped transform me into the woman I've always envisioned I could be, and I couldn't be more happy with who I am! My educational goal is to finish my BA , and then go on to successfully complete the CPA exam. I know that I can do it because I have come this far, and I'm very excited for the challenge that awaits. The reward will be that sense of accomplishment as I look back on the journey, and thank myself for believing in me.

Sara

I have learned so much since I started college. Of course, I have learned a lot academically because of how hard I have worked to keep up in classes. I love the teachers I have and the interaction they have with all of their students. Aside from academics, I have learned a lot about myself and how to live on my own, and how to interact with and live with new people. I did not know my roommate or anyone else in my dorm when I came, but I have become great friends with them. Everyone there has been great, and everyone is in the same kind of situation and just want to make friends. I feel like I have grown a lot as a person, and even this early on in my college career I feel ready to live and work in the world. I have learned to be more responsible, how to deal with people I do not know well or that I do not get along with, and how to stay informed and able on my own. College has been one of the biggest and best things in my life so far.

Erica

Imagine being able to go back in time and start over again, or to receive a letter from yourself with a detailed description of do?s and don?ts. It would be amazing how radically different your life could be, but since it is not the next best thing is to give advice to others. The first piece of advice I would give myself is to breath. College seems like a mountain to climb. From biting your fingernails waiting for your acceptance letter, to pulling out your hair when you are up to your nose in homework. College is a lot of work but also the time of your life. The second piece of advice is to be honest with yourself. Be honest with yourself when looking at college majors, filling out housing cards, and when meeting new people. The final piece of advice that I would give is to hold on tight. Hold on tight because college is a short, occasionally bumpy, hectic, fun, amazing ride that is the time of your life.

Allison

Going back in time, I would advise myself to take more advanced classes or community college classes. Knowing that you are coming in with credits is a great feeling. It helps to relieve some stress about new classes knowing that you have some credits, and then maybe taking a lighter class load one semester. Also, I would tell myself to be extra outgoing during the initial transition period to college. Talk to everyone, eat meals with different people, go to people's rooms and introduce yourself to them. You will have no idea where your friends will come from. The best friends are usually not the most obvious ones. Take the time to search out people, and do not be afraid to take a chance. Lastly, stick to making friends. Some kids come to college with the hope of having a romantic relationship. Wait. It will happen when it's supposed to happen. Don't put unneeded pressure on yourself to find a significant other. Have fun. It only happens once.

Alex

The only advice that I would give would be in order to be successful in college, you really would have to want to be successful. In college I feel more vulnerable to make decisions impulsively and fail to realize the weight of my actions. Yet, college is all about time management, and managing your time will eventually be a good measure of your success. In the end, make wise choices, and manage my time wisely would be the best advice I could possible give myself, now knowing what I now about college life.

Erin

Dordt College has a great way of welcoming freshmen at the beginning of their fall semester, but there were things that weren't pointed out to us, and left us confused. If I could go back, I would tell myself to take whatever I think I need (bring the black skirt, you will want to wear it). I would write down the lunch schedule for myself so that my friends and I weren't constantly confused as to when we could or couldn't eat because the Commons weren't open. I would tell myself about the "DordtTalk" that is commonly used around campus like "Dordt Walk," "DTR," and "MRS. Degree." I would encourage exploring campus on one's own or with a group of friends. I found that if you explore while you aren't on an official tour, you tend to know your way around better. I would tell myself that getting homework done right after class is better because most things on campus happen at night. Most of all, I would encourage myself to go to all the Praise and Worship times, chapel, and GIFT times. These are great ways to praise God while meeting new people.

Anthony

To study harder and get some of the general ed classes out of the way before entering a four year college. Also, I would have applied for more scholarships because it's expensive to go to college, especially so far from home. I would also have told myself to get tutoring help if needed and not be so reluctant to ask for help.

Liesl

If i could go back in time and tell myself as a high school senior what i know now about college life, I would have to tell myself not to worry so much about going to college. As a senior, I was very scared to go to college, and at one point, I absolutely did not want to go. However, now that I am at college and have almost completed my first semester at Dordt College, I love it here and would not want to go back to being in high school at all. Something about the college experience, living in dorms, meeting new people and making new friends just caught up to me and made me love college even more. I can't imagine going back to high school and being with all my old friends. So if i could go back into time, I'd tell myself to just relax because once you are living the college life, you are never going to want to go back to any other life you have lived before!

Michaela

I would give myself the advice to watch the nutritional choices right when you get into college so you do not have to lose weight after your first year. Also get in to a habit of doing a little homework every night so there is no pile up when tests come along. Enjoy life and stay involved with the college's activities to meet as many people you can. Don't settle for anything less than what you really want.

Cynthia

Looking back on my high school career, I wish I would have taken more challenging classes. High school, especially my senior year, was a breeze for me. I took the required classes and filled my electives with other simplistic classes that required basically zero effort. When I arrived at college, I had basically lost the skill to study effectively. My first round of college tests was not a pleasant experience. I didn't know how to consciously study and retain all of the facets of knowledge the professor required. On a college test, a professor requires more than just the answer to a question. The professor wants his students to know why the answer is what it is. He wants to know the reasoning behind it. If I could go back and give my senior year self advice about college, I would tell it like it is and say "It's hard and it's a challenge. Prepare for it while you can and start challenging yourself now."

Rachel

I'm not sure that I would give myself any advice. I believe I made the right choice of colleges, and any mistakes I made along the way taught me more. I learned how to be a little more outgoing to make new friends, how to manage my time wisely, and how to survive in the college life. The experience is essential in growing up, so if you don't experience it for yourself, you might make the mistakes later in life when they are more crucial.

Zachary

My best advice would be to not be too hasty in choosing your school. Explore all of your options and definitely go on campus visits if possible. That's what sold me on my school. Once you choose a school make sure you get involved in activities on campus so you get to know people. This was one of the hardest things for me. I wasn't involved with much right away and therefore didn't have very many friends. College can be lonely and boring if you don't get out and meet people. I reccomend intramural sports especially. I made most of my friends that way. Also, make sure you are studying enough. There are a lot of distractions and sometimes it's hard to find the time, but make sure to find the time or you'll fall behind. Make designated study times. For example, treat it like a 9 to 5 job. Do all of you work between those times and there will still be plenty of time to hang out afterwards.

Austin

One of the most important aspect of picking the right college is to pick one that is friendly. They have to make you seem like that is where you belong and that will be fun and fulfilling to go to. If they don't make you feel accepted on your visit, they probably won't make you feel accepted when you're a student. Also, pick a college that is comfortable to be at, whether it be distance-wise, religious-wise or any other factor, there needs to be a connection between the student and the goals and community of the college. Overall, you shouldn't pick a college that you feel forced to attend, even after you've been there for an extended period of time.

Jeanetta

I have found the most important aspect is education, at first recent high school graduates are mostly concerned with the size of the campus, what kind of sports they can play ect., but as you grow and mature throughout your college experience you realize that education and experience, growing and understanding through learning, is what you are really there for. It is also important to pick a college that best fits you, that you feel you can be happy, social and comfortable at. I made some of my best friends and most memorable memories at college and I wouldn't trade them and my education experience for another college.

Jessica

Be involved, it's the best way to stay busy and meet new people. Also, finding a school that "is known" for the major of study you want to go into will help you a lot.

Heather

Choose a college in a location that is comfortable for you, that offers a strong program in your major, that emphasizes involvement in the broader community and the world, and that has a student body which will both challenge and support you. Remember that college is expensive, and ask yourself how long you really want to be paying off your loans. Know that students make the college more than facilities or location.

Jon

Find a college that makes you be a part of the community. Colleges that you are just a number at can hinder your academic as well as social experiences at your school and not give you the best possible college experience. College is a great place to make life-long friends and I suggest picking a school that agrees with your religous affiliation, cause that can be the basis for all things learned at the school.

Brett

You need a school that fits your beliefs and it foccused on what you want to acheive. Look for a school with a good student to faculty ratio. The faculty at these schools will be more orientated for the students to learn and you will get a better education.

Shannon

The greatest piece of advice I would share with students? searching for the right college is to not be afraid of a challenge. Attending college is difficult because it requires one to leave the comforts of home, take on a grueling schedule of classes and extra-curricular activities while attempting to maintain an acceptable social life. It appears scary so the temptation will be to choose a college that makes you feel good, comfortable and safe. Although those reasons sound appealing at first they are the mark of a college that will leave you disappointed, unfulfilled, lacking your full potential and to be quite honest-bored. Take into consideration what kind of person you want to be, what unique experiences you want to have, what exhilarating adventures you want to embark on and allow yourself to step out of your comfort, be challenged and discover exactly who it is you were created to be.

Megan

I believe the most important thing to remember when choosing a college is to follow your heart. Now, you have probably heard this advice often and might disregard it as being too emotional. However, I disagree. How can you fully enjoy your college experience if your heart is not in it? Your heart is the core of your body and your soul. It is the life in you. No choice for a college will be the right fit unless it matches your heart. Find a college where you feel like you can be an active part: physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Listen to your heart, for it knows who you are better than anyone else. Does the physical space make you comfortable? Can you see yourself walking around, attending class, and hanging out with your friends in this environment? Consider the college emotionally and socially, does it match who you are? Do you like the people? Consider the college spiritually, does it match your beliefs and values? Choosing a college can be an over-whelming and scary experience. If you want to make the most of choosing your college and your college experience, remember one thing: Follow your heart.

Tyler

When it comes to finding the right college you should visit multiple different kinds of colleges, whether it be a big college or small college, public college or private college. You should pick a school that you feel home in and that feels safe. Also you should pick a college that offers courses that you want to take and that has a good job placement rate. To make the most of your college experience you should find a balance that works for you between you academics and your social life. If you focus on one more than the other then you will feel that you are missing out on something. In your academics you should not try to overwork yourself by having a heavy class load it will only stress you out and make things worse. You need to have a work load that you feel comfortable with and feel you can manage. Making friends is probably one of the best things you can do because with good friends they will help you and support you. Friends are what make your college experience worth it because if just focused on academics and not having any friends you will regret it.

Dale

To get a good insight on the college that best fits you or your children, definately research it. The internet is available to everyone so why not use it to your advantage. Look up the colleges your interested in on the internet, go to their college website and do a little research about the college. Try to find out what students say about the college, either by surveys like this one or other means. The best view of the college you are going to get is from the students. You could either visit the college and talk to some students, or look it up on the internet to see if that college fits what you or your children want. The biggest thing you can do is research and look up the colleges you are interested in.

Alli

The most important part of finding the right college is finding a college in which you fit well. It is important to find a college with the kind of community that is friendly and encouraging and in which you can get involved. It is also important to visit with some of the professors in the major which you intend to study because they can give you crucial information about programs, requirements, and how to get involved with different organizations that correlate with your major. Finally, it is very important to talk with current students (and possibly alumni) who can give you information about how they see the college, what they like and dislike about the college, and can answer any other questions you may have.

Peter

You need to go and visit the college and stay in the dorms.

Joel

The most important thing that I would tell you parents in the college search process would be to visit several colleges. Once you have narrowed your choice down from the visits, have your student schedule a visit where they can stay with a student at the prospective college for a few days. I found from my visiting process how different colleges could be. This is not to say that one is necessarily better than another, it just means that you might fit in at one school better because of your background or the layout of the campus. My college was not the only one I visited. In fact, it was the fourth campus I looked at. The first three were all similar in size to Dordt but I just felt unsure about the campus layout and dorm policies. It took only one visit to Dordt College however for me to realize that it would be a perfect fit. The community was accepting and I was made to feel very welcome by the students and staff alike. Visiting several colleges was the best thing I did during the entire process. I would recommend that you do the same.

Abby

The advice that I would give to parents and students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience would be to find the place where you feel most comfortable. When making a decision about which college to attend, it is important to visit that college to see if you feel comfortable in that environment. When visiting a college you are also able to meet with many students and professors and are able to see if it would be the right fit for you. You want to find a place that will allow you to grow and achieve your full potential. In making the most of your college experience it is important to become involved in various activities around campus. By joining a club or participating in intramurals you are able to meet more students and participate in activities that you enjoy. Also, never put off doing your homework. It is best to get it done right away and then go have fun with your friends. Doing this will take a lot of stress out of your life. And lastly, just have fun - college goes by way to fast so enjoy it while you are there!

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